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Judge Paul M. Black

Mar 28, 2023

Rural pharmacy denied funds required for survival

Although the debtor is owed more than a million dollars by a pharmacy services administrative organization, which that organization refuses to transfer because of an alleged overpayment, and the debtor may have to go out of business without the funds, which would cause irreparable harm to the surrounding community, the debtor’s motion for injunctive relief […]

Dec 21, 2022

Bank fails to dismiss false statement claims

Where debtors alleged that a bank filed notices stating that the debtors had requested forbearance, which was false, they plausibly alleged claims under Rule 3002.1, for violations of the automatic stay and for contempt under the court’s inherent powers and 11 U.S.C. § 105. Background This adversary proceeding stems from alleged acts by defendants Wells […]

May 12, 2022

IRS tax debts not subject to discharge

Where a Chapter 13 debtor sued to stop the IRS from collection activities for 2005 and 2006 tax liabilities, but the debts were assessed under a provision that makes them non-dischargeable, he was precluded from receiving a discharge. Background The debtor filed his Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition on April 22, 2015, and noted significant tax […]

Feb 19, 2021

Lender’s fee for filing proof of claim significantly reduced

Where a lender sought to recover $650 for filing a proof of claim, but provided no details about which employee performed the work, the tasks performed or the hours expended, the fee was reduced to $300. Background In 2017, the debtors borrowed $137,365 from Movement Mortgage LLC. This loan was memorialized in a promissory note […]

Nov 2, 2020

Debtor may not convert Chapter 7 to Chapter 11

If the debtor was allowed to convert his case, he would immediately violate a deadline imposed by the Bankruptcy Code. While the court could modify that deadline, it refused to do so here because the debtor had “played fast and loose with the facts” and an objection had been raised. Because the Bankruptcy Code would […]

Aug 24, 2020

Proof of claim narrowed in real estate deal gone bad

The claim of an individual who was previously involved in a real estate joint venture with the debtor was significantly narrowed, in part because he failed to prove certain claimed amounts. Background This matter comes before the court on an objection to proof of claim #8 of James D. Carter by the debtor, Phyllis Adele […]

Feb 17, 2020

Statute of limitations no bar to bank’s claims

A bank’s claims were not barred by the statute of limitations because they were subject to Virginia’s six-year statute of limitations, not the five-year statute of limitations applicable to contracts, as the debtor argued. Background This matter comes before the court on the motion of First Community Bank for partial judgment on the pleadings to the […]

Feb 16, 2020

Creditor sanctioned for violating automatic stay

A creditor who received notice of a bankruptcy filing and then contacted the debtor threatening criminal action if she did not pay, willfully violated the automatic stay and was ordered to pay $170 in actual damages and $500 in punitive damages. Background This matter comes before the court on a motion for contempt for violation […]

Feb 16, 2020

Trustee’s settlement binding only if approved by court

Where the trustee made an offer to settle, which was agreed to for consideration, a binding settlement agreement was reached. But in a question of apparent first impression in the Fourth Circuit, the agreement is binding only if approved by the bankruptcy court. Background This is a motion for enforcement of settlement filed by Robin […]

Sep 17, 2019

Sale of estate to auctioneer’s own company not ‘inherently unfair’

Although the auctioneer’s own company placed the winning bid on the real property, the sale was not “inherently unfair” because the advertising for the auction, the bidding process and the actual bidding were conducted at arm’s length. However, because the auctioneer violated state regulations, he is denied a 5% commission plus expenses. Background The sale […]

Sep 16, 2019

Bank sanctioned for violating automatic stay

Where Bank of the West violated an automatic stay, sought to collect a deficiency balance after the expiration period and willfully made repeated contact with the debtors despite requests from their counsel to stop, the bank was sanctioned and counsel for the debtors were awarded attorneys’ fees. Background The debtors filed a Chapter 13 petition […]

Aug 12, 2019

Claimant’s knowledge of deadline dooms untimely claim

Where a claimant did not immediately receive notice of the claim-filing deadline because the debtor provided an incorrect address, but she still had knowledge of the deadline with sufficient time to make a timely filing, her proof of claim filed four months after the deadline is rejected. Background The debtor filed her petition on Sept. […]

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